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Tourists Beware: Collecting Sand and Stones from Canary Islands Beaches Now Comes with Heavy Fines

Friday, March 22, 2024 • Tamil Comments
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The New York Post recently reported a warning to tourists visiting the scenic beaches of Lanzarote and Fuerteventura in the Canary Islands not to bring sand, stones, or rocks home as souvenirs. As per the officials, tough fines ranging between 128 and 2,563 pounds will be imposed to discourage this tendency.

And yet, through such innocuous activity, the tradition wears down fragile ecosystems of the islands: it is estimated that an island of Lanzarote loses its annual share of volcanic material; monthly, they say, the sands of the popular "Popcorn Beach" in Fuerteventura erode.

The removal of these natural elements interrupts a coastline's natural balance and is directly threatening to nature. Collectors who remove the singularly round pebbles may face fines ranging from 128 to 512 pounds, with more severe penalties imposed for larger quantities.

"These punitive measures are coming at a time when, more than ever, environmental challenges are gathering," the Canary Islands state. Just recently, too, Tenerife declared a water emergency after going through a serious and continuous period of drought, which some blamed on tourist activities. The authorities are concerned about "systemic collapse," from which continued consumption pressure can be developed, which has led to measures such as banning the use of drinking water for non-essential purposes.

However, enforcing penalization poses challenges due to the difficulty of determining if the marbles originate solely from the protected areas. However, protection of natural beauty in the Canary Islands will be a key to conservation as the same continues to attract tourists from all over the world, especially Spain.

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